April 8, 2013 in Sports

Clippers earn first Pacific Division title

From Staff And Wire Reports
 
Associated Press photo

Clippers’ Blake Griffin, center, battles Lakers’ Pau Gasol, left, and Jodie Meeks for a rebound.
(Full-size photo)

NBA: Blake Griffin had 24 points and 12 rebounds, and the playoff-bound Los Angeles Clippers beat the Los Angeles Lakers 109-95 on Sunday to clinch their first Pacific Division title in franchise history.

Chris Paul added 24 points and 12 assists in helping the Clippers sweep the Lakers 4-0 for the first time since Donald Sterling bought the team in 1981.

• Knicks top Thunder for 12th straight win: Carmelo Anthony had 36 points and 12 rebounds, J.R. Smith hit a pair of shot-clock beaters in the final 2 minutes and the visiting New York Knicks beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 125-120 for their 12th straight win.

• Jazz regain playoff position: Mo Williams scored 25 points, Al Jefferson added 19 points and 12 rebounds, and the Utah Jazz regained the Western Conference’s final playoff position by holding off the Golden State Warriors 97-90 in Oakland, Calif.

The Jazz moved a half-game ahead of the Lakers for the eighth seed.

• Longtime scouting director dies: Longtime NBA scouting director Marty Blake died Sunday. He was 86.

Blake worked in the NBA for more than 50 years and is considered the “Godfather of scouting.” The NBA said Blake died in Alpharetta, Ga., but didn’t provide a cause of death.

Blackhawks clinch playoff spot with win

Hockey: Rookie Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews scored 55 seconds apart midway through the third period, and the Blackhawks rallied to beat the Nashville Predators 5-3 in Chicago to become the first team to clinch a NHL playoff spot this season.

Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell also scored for Chicago, and Patrick Kane added an empty-net goal.

• Stars rally past Sharks: Jamie Benn scored the lone goal in the shootout and Kari Lehtonen stopped all three attempts as the Dallas Stars snapped the San Jose Sharks’ seven-game winning streak with a 5-4, come-from-behind victory in San Jose, Calif.

Alex Chiasson started the rally from a two-goal deficit in the third when he scored his second goal of the game.

• Oil Kings blank Tigers: Laurent Brossoit recorded his third shutout of the postseason as the Edmonton Oil Kings defeated the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers 2-0 in Western Hockey League playoff action.

Brossoit stopped 33 shots, including 18 in the second period alone, as Edmonton now leads the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal matchup 2-0.

• Kamloops grabs 2-0 series lead: Brendan Ranford had a goal and an assist for Kamloops as the Blazers beat the Kelowna Rockets 5-1 in Western Hockey League playoff action in Kelowna, B.C.

Dylan Willick, Chase Souto, Kale Kessy and Aaron Macklin also scored for Kamloops, which now leads the Western Conference semifinal, best-of-seven series 2-0.

Serena stays hot with Family Circle Cup

Tennis: Serena Williams rallied past Jelena Jankovic 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 to win her 15th straight match and second consecutive title at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C.

It was the second straight tournament where the top-ranked Williams dropped the opening set in the final before digging in for victory. A week ago, she lost 6-4 to Maria Sharapova and then won 12 of the next 15 games to win the Sony Open.

This time, Williams had her serve broken twice and lost her first set of the match. Things turned at the start of the second set with a testy exchange between the competitors as Williams complained about Jankovic serving before she was ready. Williams used the dispute to fire up her game, winning six straight games and 12 of the final 14.

FBI eyes possible extortion at Rutgers

Miscellany: The FBI is investigating whether a former Rutgers basketball employee tried to extort the university before he made videos that showed former coach Mike Rice shoving and kicking players and berating them with gay slurs.

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that investigators are interested in Eric Murdock, who left his job as the men’s basketball program’s player development director last year and later provided the video to university officials and ESPN.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the inquiry has not been announced. The investigation was first reported by The New York Times.

A December letter from Murdock’s lawyer to a lawyer representing Rutgers requested $950,000 to settle employment issues and said that if the university did not agree by Jan. 4, Murdock was prepared to file a lawsuit. The letter was obtained last week by the AP.

• Cancellara wins Paris-Roubaix: Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland edged Sep Vanmarcke in a final sprint to win the Paris-Roubaix cobblestone classic.

Cancellara was the heavy favorite for the 158-mile race following the withdrawal of Tom Boonen and Peter Sagan.

The RadioShack Leopard rider held off Vanmarcke to win in 5 hours, 46 minutes, 13 seconds.

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